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Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

411 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 411
Hads: 2,122
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 21.27%
Wants: 117
Gots: 380 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dciBA on 03-03-2010

Our American-style stout aged on organic vanilla beans. Intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate lead way to subtle notes of natural vanilla. Flaked oats generate a silky mouthfeel.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 411 | Hads: 2,122
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date of 04/14/15

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate and with a 2-finger thick dark khaki colored head. Decent retention, dissipating to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is mostly spotty with a few streaks here and there that stick well to the glass.

Smell - Classic stout aroma that hits on chocolate, roasted malt and a touch of coffee ground earthiness. Very subtle vanilla bean undertone.

Taste - More roasty than the nose leads on, with bitter coffee grounds leading the charge. Hints of sweeter milk chocolate character pop mid-taste, along with some earth. Vanilla comes in mildly near the finish, but a slightly acrid coffee roast roars back to deliver more bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Near full in body with low carbonation. Slick, smooth texture, make this brew go down stupid easy despite the bitter flavor profile.

Overall - One of the more bitter examples of an American Stout that comes to mind. Despite the label proclaiming that you "enjoy this beer fresh", I can't help but think this could benefit greatly from 6-12 months of age on it to help smooth out those rough edges. From my standpoint, the vanilla plays a very small role. Anyone thinking they'll be getting something like Tanilla or Victory at Sea may be severely disappointed.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

300mL bottle from Steve000 (thanks man!). Bottled 4/14/15. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a dark cola-like near-black brown with a fluffy three fingers of khaki head. The foam is slow to fade down to a thin halo, depositing a few trails of lace.

Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, vague coffee and just a slight hint of vanilla. Quite inviting.

The taste is a nice blend of roasty and sweet. Smooth, bittersweet chocolate, soft vanilla bean, creamed coffee, faint burnt caramel, cola, brown sugar and just a hint of smoke. The vanilla beans serve to really round out those roasty malts in a wonderful way. This is a delicious and incredibly drinkable stout.

Silky, medium light body with a light, tingly carbonation. Notes of chocolate shake, coffee and brown sugar dance on

Mean Old Tom is my third experience with Maine Brewing Company and so far they have nailed every one I've tried. This delivers flavor and complexity far beyond its 6.5% weight class.

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Photo of BigGeorge860
4.49/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

IMHO this beer is underrated here. Maine's offerings are always solid, and Tom is exceptional. If you're gonna fault this beer, I suppose you could base it on the fact that they make vanilla the selling point, but the overwhelming flavor is coffee, coffee, coffee. A little thin on the mouthfeel for this style, but the aroma, flavor and aftertaste pay you back. Excellent.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent stout, heavy vanilla smell though the vanilla takes a backseat in a way taste wise. I got more coffee than vanilla. Still, a great beer and worth seeking out.

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Photo of GrahamDN
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date "041415"--drunk a month after bottling. Black in the glass with deep ruby-brown edges and a dense, light tan head. The vanilla stands out on the nose, but doesn't overwhelm. Rather, it wraps itself around the typical cocoa and fresh coffee bean scents in an alluring way, and is underscored by a very appetizing aroma of caramelization. The taste is constant but moderate licorice root, brewed light-roasted coffee, and vanilla. This is all brought into focus by a deft application of bittering hops. If aroma hops are at work, they're not adding much but perhaps a subtle woodsy spice. As it warms, a beautiful dark cherry flavor comes through.

In a world enamored of heavy-hitter stouts, Mean Old Tom seems fairly restrained, but in a welcome way. I love a big, bad RIS as much as the next guy does, but it would be a shame to miss out on well-made stouts like this one just because they don't boast the pedal-to-the-metal richness that's now widely available in double/imperial interpretations.

Will buy again.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Typical MBC mid sized bottle

Pours very dark, looks like a stout should. Dark mocha head, leaves a very fine bubble film, respectable lacing and thicker collar.

Dark malts and the advertized vanilla on the nose.

Super smooth in the mouth and super tasty on the palate. More vanilla, mellow dark malts. Quite tasty, a very nice treat

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Photo of CTpilgrim
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was hoping for a little more from this one. Good look and smell up front. Taste was good with a lot of malt but didn't get a lot of the vanilla bean I was expecting. All in all a good brew but not as great as the pale ales from MBC

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Photo of hotpauko
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, well made dark beer. Flavors work well together. Touches of coffee and chocolate but not much. Front of palate is hit with a sweet, almost cherry taste and the vanilla flavor settles after. Tan 2 finger foam laces the glass. Smooth but clean mouth feel lingers for a time after finishing.

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Photo of Ratty74
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful in appearance and texture. The chocolate is there without tasting like a piece of candy and the coffee does not overpower the finish. Great on a cold day.

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Photo of CoffeePorter
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark black with a nice white creamy head.
Smells like vanilla on top of vanilla with a mild note of coffee.
Tastes very creamy with a strong vanilla kick and some roasted malty flavors.
Medium carbonation with a thick mouth feel and mild bitterness. Has a nice dry finish.
A very good stout.

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Photo of Lumens66
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark color not dissimilar to coffee, with a nice dark brown head that dissipates quickly unlike an Irish stout. A light hint of vanilla on the nose but mostly toasted malt notes, cocoa, coffee and toffee. The mouth feel in concert with the flavors are almost immediately reminiscent of a classic egg cream soda. It's the carbonation of this beer that really do that. It's uncanny actually. It was the first thing I thought of upon my first sip. Nice long finish and lingering aftertaste. Really a fine stout.

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Photo of Big_V
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown 2 finger head
T-upfront coffe,bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. The finish was rather dry. Not picking up on any vanilla at all. Still pretty smooth.
M-med carb and med mouthfill
O-good but not great stout. Above average but nothing special.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter
A - Pours pitch black with a beautiful tan head that settles quickly leaving some nice lacing.
A - Smells like a medium roast cup of coffee.
T - Flavors of malt and coffee. Other have suggested sweetness that I do not find.
M - Medium mouth feel with low carbonation.
O - A good stout, but more coffee tasting with less vanilla than I was hoping for. Low ABV allows for multiple glasses of this fine beer.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Strong aromas of roasted malt, vanilla, brown sugar. There’s some subtle aromas of coffee, dark chocolate and heavy cream.

Taste: Wow! Massive flavors of roasted malt up front, imparting notes of toasted bread, dark chocolate, some subtle coffee, brown sugar-like sweetness and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and extremely smooth and creamy as hell as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.5%, there is no alcohol present on the palate at all.

Overall: Wow, what a great stout!! Tons of roasted malt and brown sugar-like sweetness and vanilla, wrapped up in an extremely smooth beer. Delicious!

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Photo of Boston71
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich dark into the glass, head smells definitely chocolate. Initial sip dark chocolate, smooths out to a subtle vanilla.

Would prefer a stronger vanilla taste as opposed to chocolate. Smooth stout with sweet notes

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Photo of Vogey77
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with thick white head. Smells of chocholate also hints of vanilla and caramel. Taste is dominently chocholate with slight hints of the vanilla bean. Some dissapointment as would have preferd more vanilla. Has just the right amount of carbination and drinks very smooth. Overall solid offering from Maine.

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Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Any beer than can incorporate hints of onion peel and pepperoni, paired with all the expected coffee-like, vanilla bean flavors, is impressive to me. This beer is probably underrated, but why? Maine Beer Co. does everything large. Recommended.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and faint vanilla. Thin tan head with a pitch dark body. The vanilla takes a back seat in the overall taste profile here, gives this beer a slight undertone rather than a sweetness. Which is a good thing all things considered. A very good beer - carbonation and roasted malt comes together. Almost a porter mouthfeel - not overly thick.

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Photo of Aws1187
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an underrated beer. Smell is subtle but wonderfully hoppy for a stout. Caramel, chocolate and coffee scents come through and are enhanced once you take a few sips.

I'm not a stout lover but I tried it on draft at the MBC brewery and was very surprised. Important to drink it fresh- 30 days or less, the hoppiness is the most important aspect of the beer.


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Photo of rooskey379
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First time having a Maine offering and I was excited to try this.

Pours black with a dark khaki head, lacing sticks around for the entirety of the experience.

Smells of coffee, vanilla, a bit of barrel aging too which was nice.

I was expecting a lot of vanilla but was let down in that regard. Tastes more of vanilla bean than vanilla, if that makes sense. Almost artifical.

Overall its a decent beer, probably would not purchase again. Doesn't "stand out" exactly but it isn't a bad offering either.

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Photo of thirstyturtle
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I don't understand why this beer doesn't receive higher marks, very well-balanced with a solid vanilla flavor. One of the best Maine has to offer imo.

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Photo of benloho
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More coffee and chocolate in taste with vanilla in the nose. Was hoping for a bit more creaminess in mouthfeel and more smoothness and vanilla in the taste. Surprisingly tastes more like a coffee stout.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a lovely black color with a beautiful two finger head of caramel colored foam that sticks around for a while. Nose is a little underwhelming, a nice roasted stout with just a hint of vanilla. Taste is simply fantastic. Nothing super strong, but a complex meld of roasted malt, coffee, and just a touch of warming spice, all finishing with a pleasant vanilla aftertaste that leaves you wanting more. Feel is rich and creamy with a proper carbonation level. This is a bit pricey, but the quality of the ingredients is evident in the final product. It's certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Mo_fro
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black as coal with a dense three finger milk chocolate colored head. The head dissolves slowly leaving behind little bits of lacing stuck to the glass.
S- Very deep and rich chocolate notes, slight caramel smell.
T- Taste is roasted malt with a bitter kick in the end. I’m not getting any flavor in particular. No vanilla as the label says. The balance is good but maybe I’m missing something
M- Mouth feel is light and crisp like a lager, very thin and heavily carbonated.
O- Overall it’s a smooth beer that’s very drinkable. I’m slightly disappointed with the flavor, I expected more. I will try this one again in the future to see if there is any change. It will be interesting to see other reviews on BA. (I don’t read them before I review)

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Photo of dd43
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Started with a bottle dated 11-Nov-2014, poured into a pint glass. Pours as you'd expect a stout to, which is to say inky and with moderate, tan/khaki colored head. Attractive lacing. Aroma of vanilla, in which the beer was aged, doesn't really follow through to the taste. Has all the roasted malt backing you expect, both on the nose and in the taste, as well as great chocolate notes, albeit subdued more than I would have preferred. The oats used in the brewing process definitely contribute to the trademark silky mouthfeel that oatmeal stouts are favored for.

Maine Brewing doesn't make a bad beer by any stretch, but I was expecting something a little more assertive given the aroma presentation when I first poured it. Don't go into this expecting to be bowled over by vanilla. After the initial wave hits you, it turns into a relatively pedestrian (but extremely drinkable) dry stout. I consider it a bridge between a boring irish stout and the more aggressively flavored "big" stouts. Save for the oatmeal characteristic, this could easily be rebranded a porter. Which would be fine except Maine already makes an outstanding porter.

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.